Salmonberry is a deciduous upright shrub 6 to 12 feet (2 to 4 m) tall. It is usually found with one or more other deciduous shrub species, such as red elderberry, thimbleberry, twinberry, or cascara). Salmonberry typically grows beneath a canopy of red alder.
Salmonberry flowers in February and March and produces edible, mature fruit in June and July. Small unripe fruit has a salmon color. The fruit grows sweeter as it ripens, and the color shifts toward red.